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Green Tip #19 - Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Living - Odors and Stains

Updated on December 30, 2014
Cotton ball infused with essential oil in your vacuum bag will release pleasant smell without adding power to fall into the pile.
Cotton ball infused with essential oil in your vacuum bag will release pleasant smell without adding power to fall into the pile.
Use vinegar to clean your coffee pot
Use vinegar to clean your coffee pot | Source

Howdy All!

Wow! Can you believe it’s almost August?! It’s amazing how something you can’t see, specifically time, whizzes us thru this life, huh? Sneaky little phenomenon! I think time must be an acronym for Traveling In My Existence! Ok, I’m getting side-tracked again! Oh, my mind is such a wandering vessel!

Coming back to the point, sneaky phenomena brings me to today’s tip:

Green Tip #19–Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Living– Odors and Stains

You can’t go thru life without encountering, creating and combating odors and stains. Unfortunately, many stain removers and air fresheners are not only toxic to pets and humans, but can damage your fabrics after repeated use, or in some cases, make the situation worse.

Once again, you can make use of everyday household items, which are safe for consumption, to eradicate offensive odors and stains. Here are just a few:

·When vacuuming, rather than sprinkle commercial carpet deodorizers, dip a cotton ball in your favorite essential oil and put it in the vacuum bag. The cotton ball will infuse the air with a pleasant scent and you’ll eliminate breathing carpet powder and/or the powder settling deep into the pile.

·Pour a cup of vinegar in a small dish and place in areas of the home prone to odors, such as the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen and under your sinks. This works well in the microwave, also; just be sure to remove it before microwaving!

·A simple tip for offensive odors in the bathroom: strike a wooden match and let the sulphur head burn off. Blow out before the wood burns. The sulphur immediately removes the odor.

·When a carpet stain occurs, blot the stain, then rub it with club soda and a clean cloth. Place paper towels over the wetness until dry. Club soda won’t soak the carpet or produce stains in the padding underneath.

·To eliminate pet stains on the carpet, use the same premise as above, substituting equal parts vinegar and water. The vinegar will erase the odor. (I have a friend who swears white vinegar runs thru my veins. I'm beginning to see why he thinks so!)

·To clean coffee stains from your china, use a mixture of salt and vinegar. Rub with a soft cloth and rinse.

·For coffee pots, fill the pot with water and ¼ cup salt. Brew the mixture then discard the salt water near your garden to repel pests. You can also run vinegar thru the brew cycle, but you’ll need to follow with several pots of plain water to remove the vinegar taste.

·If you have rusty hardware, such as nails, nuts and bolts, drop an effervescent tab in a bowl of water and add the hardware. Swish the parts around and they’ll come out clean!

·When coloring your hair, rub conditioner around the hairline to avoid coloring your skin. In the event the color drips, simply wipe with a cold wet cloth. It’ll come right off and no one will know you’re a DYI-er!

·If you spill red wine on your clothing, dab with a clean cloth, then “spill” white wine over the stain. Let dry for 30 minutes and rinse. Ah, the old algebraic two-negatives-make-a-positive trick! (remember Maxwell Smart?)

·And finally (for today, anyway), when cleaning your cast-iron skillets (never, ever use soap!), sprinkle course salt in the skillet and rub with a paper towel or cloth to remove stuck-on food. Be sure to periodically re-season your skillets for best performance.

That’s about it for this week. I gave myself a “lazy day” yesterday, so I need to hustle to catch up with myself! As always, your tips and comments are welcome! Enjoy your week…….



Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining, or Rhyming

All Rights Reserved

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling


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    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Peg, you're welcome. I've switched to a bagless vacuum that I empty out every time I run it. With 3 cats, I have a hair problem.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Such great ideas for green cleaning using natural products. I really love the cotton ball in the vacuum cleaner bag tip. With pets, the bags hold such a potent aroma of extreme dog in my house. When I run the vacuum, it definitely could use some air freshener. Thanks so much for these useful tips.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Crafty, you are more than welcome! I'm glad you found this helpful.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      4 years ago

      What creative ideas! I hadn't heard the one for the rusty nails. I didn't know vinegar in a dish would eliminate odors either. Such good advice. Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Ha ha, Aloscin, matches have been a combatant for farts and cigarette smoke amonst American youngsters for decades! The most effective are wooden matches with the big tips!

    • alocsin profile image


      5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Funny thing about your matchstick tip -- I was not aware of that, so when I smelled that at a local theater, I alerted the manager. Apparently, they were using that as a temporary odor filter because the vents were out. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Cool, glad you found them useful, T!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Fantastic tips, brave. I'll have to start using a number of these. Thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      You, too! Be careful with the vinegar tho. Don't get on anything you don't want to kill. Odd how it kills weeds, but is completely safe for consumption, huh?

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I'm not sure what scent I am going to use yet. I have to pick something up when I go out today, but in the summer, I like "flowery" scents. I will try the vinegar on those pesky weeds that keep coming back in my walkway. Have a wonderful day!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Awesome, sg! What scent are you going to use? I use vinegar to clean my coffee pot, also. Try it on weeds that come thru concrete cracks. You'll be amazed!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great tips! I love the one about the cotton ball in your vacuum bag. I will be doing that tomorrow! I swear there are a million and one uses for vinegar! I use it to clean my coffee pot all the time. Voted this up and useful! Have a great day! :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Thank you Shalini. I'm glad you found this useful!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      lovedoctor, what type of furniture is it? Wood, wicker? Or fabric? If fabric, you can try a mixture of baking soda and water. Make a runny paste and rub it in, let it set, then rub off with a dry cloth. If you're referring to a wooden or wicker structure, I'd try mixing vinegar with water in a spray bottle, about 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water. Spray and rub.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Haha, Frog! Whether barking or not, hair spray works great on spiders. It freezes them and they die a slooooowww death!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Thank you so much, Spy. Vinegar really is the best thing since sliced bread, huh?

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 

      6 years ago from Delhi

      a really useful hub

      voted up

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Voted up useful! I bought a white furniture set last year and it has a few stains already. Any good products? Please advise. I appreciate it.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Whatcha got for barkin' spiders?

      The Frog

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wonderful ideas brave! Vinegar is really amazing on odors and stains..never knew it before. All my votes. shared!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Oh, yeah - Uncle Phil! Maybe you should some some in his shoes, pockets, etc! Ha ha. Actually, Beckie, you're not late at all. I just posted this yesterday. I, however, am sooooooooooooooo far behind in my reading! I'm still trying to catch up from the end of June. There's just not enuf time in the day.

      Take care, my friend!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      The cotton ball in the vacuum is absolute genius! I have been so busy. I apologize for having taken a while to respond.

      You have wonderful ideas and I will be using the cotton ball immediately - especially when my Uncle Phil visits !!!! LOL

      Love, hugs and fireflies friend.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Awesome, Jackie! And thank you for being the first to comment. I literally posted this 5 minutes ago. Another good stain fighter in the laundry for whites or pale colors is baking soda. I use it instead of bleach. In fact, I don't even buy bleach anymore.

      Thank you for being living proof these tips really do work!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great tips. I tried the soda one and well it was a lemon lime soda in a restaurant. I dropped food on a beautiful pale blouse and I knew it was ruined anyway if I didn't do something so I wet a napkin with my soda and blotted it into the stain and it still had some stain but I had put all I was comfortable putting on it. When I got home I took my blouse off and started searching for the stain to work on and it was not there!


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